Fine Arts Library Hosts Exhibition of West African Cultural Artifacts

A new exhibition of cultural artifacts from West Africa will be displayed at the Fine Arts Library at The University of Texas at Austin from Dec. 5 through March 5, 2009.

"Egungun: Diaspora Recycling" features the art of the Yoruba cultures--diasporic ethnic groups whose work reflects principles of recycling and regeneration of both spiritual and material elements.

"Egungun" refers to the Yoruba embodiment of a green aesthetic of healing, wherein the individual renews the body and spirit through the use of art.

Egungun concepts of recycling and regeneration come from their principles of deathlessness, or "aiku," which is part of an aesthetic of wealth and beauty.

With the use of textiles, sculptures, poetry, music and choreography, the Yoruba create installations and performances that propagate ideas of defiance of death, perpetual continuity, immortal regeneration and communal rejuvenation.

"Egungun: Diaspora Recycling" features indigenous costumes from the collections of Bobbi and Tim Hamill of the Hamill Gallery of African Art in Boston juxtaposed with modernist, diasporic reinterpretations of the Egungun concept by two contemporary artists, Wole Lagunju and Moyo Okediji.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held at the Fine Arts Library at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. For more information, contact Eve McQuade, 512-495-4363.

"Egungun: Diaspora Recycling" is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, the University of Texas Libraries and the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies.